50:09.27N 05:03.89W Back at Falmouth

Rob Packham
Sat 5 Jun 2010 16:28
Star Dancer arrived back in Falmouth at 0700 hrs on Friday 4th June after a  strange last day at sea.
Our result was a second in the single handed class with 'RDG' - Meaning "redress", a ruling where the jury reinstates or changes a boat's score for a particular race, based on a protest hearing. 
We spent the last 4 hours of the race towing another competitor whose engine would not start when he was drifting with no wind in the Lizard shipping lane at 0300.   We therefore crossed the finish line under engine which was a bit sad after four and a half days racing at sea but were pleased we were given a 'finish'.   (NB only 3 boats were single handed!)
We had arrived off the Lizard at dusk after a hard day beating up from the Scilly Isles.  The wind then died completely and we drifted down and around towards the Manacles for the next 5 hours.  Then at 0300 we spoke with Sleuth Hound, a Halberg Rassy, who requested assistance and motored back to the Lizard to take on the tow.  
By the time we finished at 0700 Friday the last proper sleep (40minutes) had been at 1000 on Wednesday!  Beating up to the Scillys and then to the Lizard, with lots of shipping, is a difficult place to leave Star Dancer to her own devices so I kept awake and managed to keep going.   I struggled whilst doing the tow and had to helm and dance about just to keep awake!
And that is why this log has lost a couple of days!   
Jenny arrived yesterday afternoon and Star Dancer is now in cruising mode for the next week before I sail her back to Yarmouth. 
Really pleased how Star Dancer sailed and nice to prove to myself I can sail single handed over a few days.   Out at sea, away from the shipping lanes, sleeping down below or in the cockpit worked well.  Always a short sleep before checking sails and for ships and if all was well back to sleep again if needed.   I managed to drop off to sleep in seconds and was often aware I had fallen asleep because I realised I was dreaming - a strange semi conscious experience.   Always slept in full gear including lifejacket (thank goodness for the Spinlock life jacket - a design you can live in)
Also pleased with handling the spinnakers.  We had a 13hr run with the big spinnaker on the run up to Fastnet Rock and the smaller heavy (1.5oz) spinnaker for 15 hrs running south from Fastnet to the waypoint mark.  The smaller flatter cut spinnaker was good in a lumpy sea and I felt more confident about sleeping with it up. 
Food worked well and being alone could eat what and when I liked.   Tim's Fuizion dried food was always the highlight of the day!   I think I have lost half a stone over the week - now to keep it off!
Our total log for the Race was 603 n miles and in the early hours of 3rd June Star Dancer logged 10,000 n miles - she is a star!
Rob and Star Dancer
Saturday 5th June